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OnePlus Nord Detailed Camera Review

OnePlus Nord Detailed Camera Review

“Music” Hey guys, its Sagar from TecworkZ, and in this video, let us check out the cameras on this OnePlus Nord. OnePlus makes very bold claim on their website, saying that “if you don’t like cameras, we’ve really messed up”.

Let us go ahead and test this claim. I have over 75 image and video samples from the Nord to show you guys, so without wasting any time, let us check out the cameras we are working with. OnePlus Nord gets 6 cameras in total, 2 at the front and 4 on its back.

Primary camera at the back gets a 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 Sensor with F/1.75 aperture, OIS and 6 element lens. OnePlus wants to brag about it and let us to know that this is the same primary cameras as the OnePlus 8.

But what they are not telling you, is that its the same camera that they used in OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7. So it is well over a year old. And while OnePlus has used it in their flagship phones, we have seen countless other manufacturers use it in their Budget phones, like the Honor View 20, Redmi K20 Pro, Realme 5 Pro, Realme X, Xiaomi Mi A3 and so on.

So lets wait till we look at the actual image samples, before getting all exited about it. Next camera gets an 8 megapixel sensor with F/2.25 aperture and an ultra wide angel lens. Then there is a 5 megapixel depth sensor with F/2.

4 aperture, and a 2 megapixel macro sensor again with F/2.4 aperture. I think the last 2 cameras are completely useless. No-one wants a measly 2 megapixel macro camera, and the edge detection for portrait shots can just as easily be achieved via software.

OnePlus just wanted included these cameras, just so they can call it a quad camera phone. There are 2 cameras at the front. Main one finally gets an upgraded 32 megapixel Sony IMX616 sensor with F/2.45 aperture.

And the 2nd one gets an 8 megapixel ultra wide camera again with F/2.45 aperture. I am so glad this is a wide camera, and not just a depth sensor like on some budget smartphones. With the rear camera, you can shoot 4K videos at 30fps, 1080p videos at 30 and 60fps.

and 1080p slow motion videos at 240fps. The front facing camera however can shoot 4K and 1080p videos in upto 60fps. I am just as puzzled as you guys, that why does the front facing camera gets the 4K 60fps mode, and not the rear one.

Hopefully they can figure out a way to include this with a future software update. The camera interface is similar to what we saw on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. If you want a detailed look at it, I suggest you guys check out my dedicated camera review of either of those phones.

I will leave cards to them on the top right corner of the screen, and also link them in the description section. Let me just quickly tell you the Range of ISO and shutter speed for the Pro mode. Range for ISO is from 100 to 3200, and the shutter speed ranges from 1/8000th of a second, all the way upto 30 seconds.

Now if you leave the ISO on auto in the Pro mode, it can go upto 6400, but while adjusting it manually, it just goes up to 3200. There is still this annoying this shutter lag while you are taking pictures, like we saw on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.

And it gets even worse on this phone when you click images in 48 megapixel mode. In some cases, there is a delay of close to 5 seconds, before you can take another image. This is really annoying. If anyone from OnePlus is watching this video, please, please fix this soon.

Before we head over to the image and video samples, if you are new to this channel, please make sure to hit the subscribe button and the bell icon next to it. That way, you won’t miss out on any of the amazing videos coming up on this channel.

Now some of you guys complain in the comments that I don’t include video samples in my camera reviews, which is not true. I include 4k and 1080p videos in all camera reviews, and I don’t know how they miss it.

Anyways, this time let me include the video samples first and then we will move on to the images. 4K v30fps videos look very good from the OnePlus Nord. They are stabilised via EIS so they are extremely smooth.

Even tough there is OIS on the primary camera, these videos don’t get optical stabilisation. I have tried every resolution and frame rate option, and all videos are just stabilised electronically. The videos turned out good in these diffused lighting conditions as well, but you definitely see some noise since the lighting is not perfect.

In bright lighting conditions like this, videos look so much better. There is less noise overall, and the colours look pretty good. I don’t now if you can notice it or not, but there are few dropped frames here and there while shooting videos on the OnePlus Nord.

You can take 4K videos with the wide lens as well. For some reason, videos from this wide lens are sharper and better than the photos from it. 1080p videos are a bit softer, but they are still usable, and the stabilisation is again doing an excellent job.

For slow motion, the resolution and frame rate are locked at 1080p and 240fps. There are no other resolution and frame rate options. As you can see, the video is very smooth, but since these are a bit diffused lighting conditions, you see plenty of noise in the video.

Make sure to shoot slow motion videos in bright light, to avoid this unwanted noise in your footage. Now let us take a look at the images. Starting with the day time shots. It is monsoon season where I live, so most of the images are going to be in overcast lighting conditions.

I was lucky to be able to take a few of these shots when the sky was relatively clear of clouds. As you can see, there are plenty of details in these daylight shots. Everything appears to be sharp, but I think there is a bit more contrast in these images.

That extra contrast give these images a bit more depth. Some might like this extra contrast in their images, and some might not, its a matter of personal preference. Now even as I zoom in on these images, you can see that they hold on to their details.

Sometimes there is a bit too much noise in the bright sky, you can see it in this image as I zoom in, other than that, all these daylight images in bright light are looking really good. Even in overcast situations, we see the main camera capture a lot of details.

In these situations, some phones just end up capturing no details at all. But the Nord is doing a pretty good job of keeping the details intact. Keep in mind, that even tough its a Oneplus smartphone, it is a sub 25K phone, and we should judge the camera according to that.

As you can see, the Nord is doing a good job in these indoor daylight conditions as well. In some of the shots it tends to over expose, so you might have to pull the brightness slider down manually in those cases, for the image to look good.

Like on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, Nord also gets the UltraShot HDR option, and I have kept it on for all of my shots. And as you can see, it does a good job when the phone needs to capture higher dynamic range.

Now while taking HDR shots, you might not always see the result that you are going to get. In the viewfinder, the brighter areas might look too bright, or the shadows might appear too dark. But the HDR effect is applied after you click the image, and when you go to the gallery, after a second or so, you get to see how good time image turned out.

When I took this shot, the background was completely blown out in the viewfinder, but after clicking the picture, ISP applied the HDR effect and brought back most of the details from the sky, while bringing up lot of details from the shadows at the same time.

The resulting image looks very good, but you don’t know that when you are clicking the image. Kind of like what pixel did with the portrait mode shots. Checking each shot after you take it, can get a bit frustrating, when you are out on a vacation with friends and family.

I guess this is due to the less powerful processor. Hopefully, onePlus will fix this with an update. I really like the colours coming out of this camera for the most part. Sometime they are a bit muted, but I think we can blame that on the weather, and not on the cameras capabilities to reproduce good looking colours.

Sometimes due to the higher contrast, colours appear a bit saturated the the actual scene. But I think these kind of images look very attractive when you share them on social media. If you want to ge the most natural looking colours, shoot RAW images in the Pro mode, and then edit them to make the colours look exactly how you want.

These have all been 12 megapixel pixel binned images from the primary camera. You have the option to take 48 megapixel images as well. And here are how the 12 and 48 megapixel images look when stacked next to each other.

From this far, you cannot differentiate between them, you will have to zoom in 3-4 times, to see that the 48 megapixel images have a bit more details. 48 megapixel images are also 3-4 times large in terms of file size, so if you shoot all your images at this resolution, your phones internal storage will fill up very fast.

If you click 48 megapixel images in overcast or dim or low lighting conditions, you will barely see any details in these shots. While shooting at this resolution, size of each individual pixel is very small, so each one captures very little light.

This is not an issue in bright sunny light, but in less than ideal light, here are how the 48 megapixel images end up looking. So for most of your shots, stick to the default 12 megapixel mode. Here is a quick focusing speed test before we move on to the close up and macro shots.

Main camera is pretty quick at switching the focus from a near to far object and then back again. The shift in focus is smooth in some cases, but at times it also suddenly changes the focus. It doesn’t matter while taking images, but smoother shift in focus looks very good while taking videos.

Fast and accurate focusing is important for taking close up shots like this. Now both the Oneplus 8 and 8 Pro gave me some problems with focusing while taking close up shots, but I did not have any such issues with the Nord.

I just fired up the camera, walked up to the subject and clicked these good looking closeups. The subject closest to the camera, or the one that you tapped on is in perfect sharp focus, and thanks to the large sensor and wide aperture, background in these shots gets a very nice and smooth optical blur.

If you want to get even closer to your subject, there are 2 options. You can either switch to the dedicated 2 megapixel macro lens, which lets you set the focus even if you get this close to the subject.

But the quality of these images is abysmal. You can get much better shots by using the 2 or 3x digital zoom on the main camera. Here are the macro shots compared side by side with the 3x digital zoomed shots from the main camera.

If you want to take macro shots on this phone, please do this, instead of using the macro lens. OnePlus should have ditched the macro and depth sensor on this phone, and put that money towards a better wide camera which could also double as a macro camera, like the one on the OnePlus 7T.

That would have given much better results. Speaking of the wide camera. Here are how the images from it, look against the images from the main camera. Wide lens lets you get so much more of the scene in the shot.

It is not as good as the main camera in terms of details and dynamic range, but it lets you capture a completely different perspective of the scene, from the same exact shot. The overall image is very soft from the wide lens, specially in overcast or dim lighting conditions like this.

It is because the sensor behind this lens is of a lower resolution, and the lens elements are also not of a very good quality. All this being said, this image quality is still accepted and much better than the useless macro lens.

You also get a 2x button in the viewfinder. Nord doesn’t get a telephoto lens, so when you tap on the 2x button, it just digitally zooms in on the image from the main sensor. Most of the times these digitally zoomed images turned out pretty good.

Coming to the portrait mode. Other than missing on some strands of hair, edge detection is on point. It does very well to separate your subject from the background. The UltraShot HDR helps while taking portrait shots as well.

Most of the times it does a very good job of keeping the highlights in check, like the background in this shot. But sometimes it completely messes the shadows like in this shot. There were shadows on the face while taking this shot, so the HDR mode just brought up all the shadows and made the image look unnaturally processed.

While no one talked about this, I showed the same think in the portraits from the OnePlus 8 and 8 pro as well. I really hope OnePlus fixes this. In other situations, when the scene is evenly lit, I really like the portrait shots from the OnePlus Nord.

Faces are in focus, colours are looking good, and the blur to the background also looks very natural. I just found that the Nord take more time than any other phone to detect the edges for taking a portrait shot.

The depth effect overlay on the viewfinder on this phones takes longer to turn green. Again this might be because of the processor. It is not an issue, but you just need to have a bit more patience while taking images with this phone.

You will find the same thing while taking portraits of objects. While it is accurate at detecting the edges of objects for the most port, it takes a second or 2 more than other phones. Other than that, the portraits turned out to be amazing.

We can again see the ultrashort HDR trying to bring up too many shadows from the black box. While it still looks processed, it is not such a big issue while taking portraits of things, it looks weird when there are people in the shot.

Again there is a bit more contrast in these portrait shots, but to my eyes, they are looking pretty good. Let us now move on to the images shot in, indoor artificial and lower lighting situations. Main camera on the Nord has a wide aperture, and that combined with the Optical image stabilisation lets the sensor capture more light for longer time.

This means, the low light performance of this phone is also pretty good. You can see it captures lot of details in these lighting conditions as well. But if this is not enough for you, or if you want to click images in even lower light, there is a NighSight mode.

Like on any other phone, it lets the sensor capture light for longer time, and then apply some computational photography magic, to give us brighter and much more detailed images. Look at how much more light the NightSight mode image managed to capture.

Night sight mode doesn’t only bring up the dark shadows, but it also manages the exposure in the brighter parts of the image in a better way. NightSight mode also does wonders while shooting indoors.

There was barely any light around while taking this image, but look at how much light the NightSight mode manages to add in this images. This mode doesn’t bring up the ISO to make the images look brighter, it also reduces the noise in the overall image and makes it look much cleaner and sharper.

This mode takes a couple of seconds to capture the image, so if you have people in the shot, ask them to be completely still for 2-3 seconds, because any movement, results in a blurry looking shot. Sometimes, the Nord will capture more light even in the auto mode, and make the image look much better in lower light.

In that case you won’t even have to switch to the night mode. That brings us to the front facing cameras. OnePlus has finally packed in a 32 megapixel selfie camera on the Nord. While 32 megapixel sounds a lot, and the images look sharp, I still think the detail levels are not as good as you would expect form a higher resolution sensor.

Don’t get me wrong, These selfies do look good. The secondary wide angle selfie camera lets you take wide selfies like this. Its images are a bit softer, but the advantage is, it lets you capture a much wider field of view.

So when this Pandemic is behind us, you can meet your friends, get a lot of them in a single selfie. Colours are good while taking normal selfies, but this camera tend to over expose most of the shots, making you selfies look a bit faded.

Even without a dedicated depth sensor, edge detection is very accurate while taking portrait selfies. Overall colours and skin tones also look pretty good in these portrait selfies. Since the background is blurred out, we get the illusion that the faces are sharper in portrait selfies, compared to normal selfies.

Here is a video from the main front facing camera on the OnePlus Nord. You can see hot it handles the overall colours of the scene, exposure and stabilisation when I am walking around with it. This phone does get a secondary wide front camera, but you cannot stitch between these lenses while you are shooting videos.

This a video from the wide front facing camera on the OnePlus Nord. You can see how it handles the overall colours, exposure and stabilisation when I am walking around with this phone. So with that, we have seen close to 80 image and video from the OnePlus Nord.

Other than the very poor Macro camera, I feel the Nord has a pretty good set of cameras. Now the cameras are obviously not as good as the flagship smartphones. But looking at them on a smartphone, you’ll not find a lot to complain about.

Now I have not compared its images with any other smartphones yet, so I can’t say how its performance is compared to them. But on its own, at a starting price of 25K Rs. I think these cameras are doing a pretty good job.

We have seen this sensor on the 7T, and it was not giving us the best results. Then we saw it on the OnePlus 8, and thanks to better ISP the results were substantially better. Again I haven’t compared these images with the 7T or the 8, but I have a feeling that they are better than the ones from the OnePlus 7T, but not good as the ones from the OnePlus 8.

The ISP on the Snapdragon 765G processor seems to be doing a pretty good job. It is a bit slower in processing these images, but the resulting images seem to be good. The video performance is also pretty decent.

There are few dropped frames while shooting 4K videos, other than that, I see no problem with the cameras on this phone. So it seems that OnePlus did not mess up the camera on the Nord. Again we should keep in mind that this is a 25-30K smartphone and judge the cameras accordingly.

Well you guys saw the images too, so what do you think about the cameras on the OnePlus Nord. Let me know in the comments. Very soon I will be comparing these cameras with a few other smartphones, so make sure you have the notifications turned on.

If you like these images, and if you want to purchase the OnePlus Nord, I will really appreciate if you get it form links in the description section. That is it for this video guys. Please hit the like button if this video helped you, and subscribe to the channel for more quality tech videos like this.

You can also check out some of the other videos from this channel. This has been Sagar, and I will catch you guys in the next video. Take care.


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